8/06/2013

Data Scientist - to Be or Not to Be

Am I a Data Scientist?  Maybe.

Because I work with data (Structured).

Because I work with databases (SQL-Server/Oracle).

Because I Extract Transform and Load (ETL) data (SSIS).

And I store that data in Cubes (in memory) (SSAS).

Which is then accesses through SharePoint.

By end users.

Through Self Service Business Intelligence.

And traditional reports in SQL Server Reporting Services (SSRS).

And I display Dashboards and KPIs in Performance Point.

So am I a Data Scientist?

Well I gather specs from the customer.

And translate the business rules into code.

I understand the flow of data between systems.

So that I'm knowledgeable in the Business, the Data and the Analytics.

Except I haven't mentioned Big Data or Hadoop yet.

Because I feel you can be a Data Scientist with or without this new tool.

It's just another tool in the toolkit, a very big tool at that.

And if one is to be a Data Scientist, he / she must know:

Data Scientist=Tech+Biz knowledge+Programming+Analytics+Viz+Data+Math+Statistics+QA+Communicate with top brass

That's not asking too much (wink, wink, nod, nod).

A baseball player usually masters one or two position in the field as well as batting.

He is not required to be an expert at every position.

Same with Data Scientist, he / she must know the big picture as well as specialize in a sub-set.

Because nobody I know has all the skills in the Data ecosystems, there's just too much to learn and not enough time / hours in the day.

So yes I believe Data Scientist exist, except if you say they must have a PhD, Quant Statistics and Math and a position at one of the top Internet companies, then I'm going to have to disagree.

Data Science is a new term applied to an old skill, just like they added Business Intelligence to the Report Writer / ETL role about a decade ago.

New technology demands new skill sets and new job descriptions.

So if you were to say I'm a Data Scientist, I wouldn't disagree...

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